The Funny Bits
There's always comical moments that stand out in your life & i've remembered a few from my DJaying days.
Many years ago, early on in my career, I hadn't passed my driving test but i'd purchased a van. Now & again one of my mates would drive us to a gig [ save my dad ]. On one such occasion we'd finished the gig & I was getting my money from the punter. From time to time i'd have 4 or 5 mates helping out. On going out to help load the equipment, on to the van,something just missed my head, then it happened again. Not saying too much we loaded up, took off & went home. Getting home we were always a bit hyper, in need of a drink & hungry....enter 4 cooked turkeys...the thieving b******s had been in the kitchen above the function room in this pub & nicked what I guess was someones lunch for the next days function. With all this commotion going on my mother appeared..' where have you got them turkeys from'...always quick to answer..' well mom the manager thought i'd done a good job and '......straight in the fridge....turkey sarnies for work all the following week. Put your hands up Siddy Singh, Mick Newey. Dougy Edwards & the now departed Roy Deakin for this crime.
Back to the Book & Candle days. We wrapped up at about 11.30 at the Book, so we'd always make a mad dash to get to the White Lion at Portway for the last hour, on a Friday night. On this particular evening it had been snowing , quite heavilly, & the Lion was off the main road up a country lane. Knowing that the car park would be full I parked in the lane outside the pub. At the time I had a transit with sliding drivers & passengers doors, so I could get close in to the side of the roadside [ being no kerb up a country lane ]. On jumping out the van on to what I thought was a piece of grass covered in snow I was suddendly up to my waist in ice cold water, yes it was a snow covered ditch.
Back stage at the Book & Candle was two changing rooms & a toilet. One evening I went back stage for a pee & a group of doormen & Jean, the pub gaffers wife were all very quietly standing by one of the dressing room doors. Being curious I creapt up to a slightly opened door & wow what a shocker, the dressing room had mirrors to three sides so you could see anything going on through a two inch gap. What did I see.. my roadie Steve Burkes arse going up & down to the beat of the music & some fresh faced blonde lying underneath him. It was when he finished & came out that was funny....everyone just formed a line & gave him a round of applause.
Still learning to drive, but with my own van, we had an up market corporate event on at the Chateu Impney [ near Droitwich ]. Halfway through the night i'd lost my roadies, which wasn't unusual because sometimes they'd find a local pub and dissapear for an hour or so, but one of them would always stay sober. On finding them I couldn't believe what had happened....a free champagne bar.....they were all totally bladdered. Now i'd only just started to drive & i'd downed about six pints but I was as close to sober as your gonna get....so I drove home & Mick Newey changed the gears......great old days.
Now I haven't spoke about my other brother much...our Dave. In the daytime world I worked for him, but on this occasion I didn't have a roady [or a licence ] so he worked for me. It was Kidderminster Round Tables annual river boat shuffle starting at Stourport, going up the river Severn for a few miles & coming back. What the f**k they wanted a DJ for was beyond me, they were all old military types, but it was fun. Dave & myself were very partial to the brown stuff so a fair amount of amber nectar was consumed that night. We even had a man overboard that night & a very tired brother over the limit.....he fell asleep driving home....I thought o fuck what am I gonna do...with one hand I steered...When I needed to brake or gear change I shouted & nudged him...I just couldn't keep him awake. We got home I had to unload the gear on my own.......I was laughing about it for weeks after & he didn't believe it had happened, he's probably forgot about it now.
Not really that funny but at the age of 16 I was on the bus coming back from the city centre one Saturday afternoon, looking forward to what was to be about my sixth or seventh gig ever that evening. Just before I got off the bus two lads I new mugged me, they took the records I'd just purchased & about £2 in loose change. Walking down Monica Road I bumped into Ginger Aldridge....'what's up with you' he said...'oh that Cavana & his mate have just nicked my records & a bit of money'...'bastards' & he just took off. Anyway I got home licking my wounds & about two hours later a knock at the front door. Opening the door there was Ginger Aldridge...'here's ya records Rob & £5 for your trouble. 'Peter what have you done look at your hands & your head'..... 'they won't be bothering anyone for a while'....'I did hide around the corner to see the ambulance pick them up tho'..............Wasn't funny at the time but I smile everytime I think about that now. Peter Aldridge I salute you, raving nutcase, totally fearless, but most of all a mate you can call a mate.
I've just been reminded about a guy we all got to know in the early 80s. After doing a gig, almost any night of the week, we'd go to this burger van which was parked up at the junction of Stoney Lane & Stratford Road in Sparkbrook. Paul the Irish burger king....he'd rant come on lads eat like young donkeys....eat like pigs. Any night of the week you'd get between 2 & 6 DJs turn up......you just can't wind down after a gig. Burgers would be put on the grill for 30 seconds, flipped over for another 30 seconds the served up....normally with a generous helping of fag ash. Great old times though.....slap bang in the middle of my DJ career.